“Path of hope must be found”, Cardinal in Mauritius Urges amid Multiple Challenges

Maurice Cardinal Piat, Bishop of Port Louis in Mauritius who unveiled his Pastoral Letter on the Lenten Season titled “Walking together is opening a path of hope” on 22 February 2023. Credit: Port Louis Diocese

The people of God in Mauritius and other parts of the world are facing multiple challenges, the Bishop of Port Louis Diocese in the in the Indian Ocean Island nation, Maurice Cardinal Piat, has said, and cautioning against giving up, underscored the need to set on the “path of hope” for solutions.

In his February 22 Lenten Pastoral Letter, Cardinal Piat highlights the various challenges the people of God are facing and says that “a path of hope must be found”.

“We know that the world is going bad. The war in Ukraine, the aftermath of the pandemic, tensions between China and the United States, and not forgetting the ecological crisis, nature has revolted with floods, forest fires,” Cardinal Piat says in his 32-page Pastoral Letter, which he unveiled on Ash Wednesday, February 22.

The Mauritian Cardinal adds, “In our country too, things are going wrong. The cost of living is increasing substantially, with galloping inflation.”

“We're not sure about an economic slowdown in the future. And that increase is weighing very heavily on a large segment of the population,” the member of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit (Spiritans) says. 


He continues, “Drugs circulate easily in the country. It weakens and destroys our youth and families. It corrupts our institutions and weakens them.”

“The lure of easy money is doing immense harm. And it is a national problem. We have to find a way to get through,” Cardinal Piat further says.

He goes on to highlight the effects of sexual abuse crisis of the Church, saying, “There are fewer and fewer Priests and the institutes that used to send missionaries no longer have much of a means to do so.”

“With COVID-19, there has been a slowdown in pastoral activities, including fewer faithful in the churches,” he adds.

Despite these challenges, the Local Ordinary of Port-Louis Diocese says, “a path of hope must be found.”

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“We must recognize that we are going through a major moral crisis. It manifests itself in certain dysfunctions of institutions. It is a kind of paralysis and we do not see how we will tackle this problem,” Cardinal Piat says.

“In this crisis, there are many opportunities that must be seized,” he goes on to say in his Lenten Pastoral Letter titled, “Walking together is opening a path of hope”.

He continues, “Christian faith tells us that this troubled time is also a ‘Kairos’, that is to say, a favorable time when the Lord comes to meet us to restore our confidence.”

“The future is not simply a threat to be feared, but a time full of new opportunities to be seized together to rediscover hope,” Cardinal Piat says, and adds, “One can legitimately think that the future is in the hands of those who will have known how to give tomorrow's generations reasons to live and to hope.”

The 81-year-old Mauritian Cardinal who started his Episcopal Ministry in May 1991 as Coadjutor Bishop of Port-Louis Diocese spells out the path of hope that needs to be established.


“It is urgent to hear the call that resounds loudly in the heart of the crisis: to give priority to the common good, to build bridges, to assume together the price that must be paid,” he says.

There is also the need “to renounce an individualistic ethic, to sectorial and narrow projects favoring only certain categories of people,” Cardinal further says, and underlines the need “to play the card of solidarity and fraternity to the fullest so that each person may find his or her place in the common house.”

“Let us recognize that we need each other. Let us open the space of our tent to young people and to all those who have at heart the common good of our country,” he says.

He continues, “Let us open our hearts to hope. Let us seek together the Kingdom of God and its justice with the assurance that all the rest will be given to you in addition. And above all, let us open our hearts to a true human brotherhood.”

“When this fraternity does not remain a slogan but is set in motion concretely, even in very modest initiatives, it gives rise to hope,” Cardinal Piat says, and adds, “Hope may be the smallest of all virtues, but it is the strongest. It is tenacious, patient. Hope does not disappoint us.”

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The Catholic Church leader who has been at the helm of Port-Louis since February 1993 continues, “In these difficult times, let us not allow ourselves to be robbed of the joy of hope. Let us walk together.”

Jude Atemanke is a Cameroonian journalist with a passion for Catholic Church communication. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of Buea in Cameroon. Currently, Jude serves as a journalist for ACI Africa.